The Australian Ballet

5 Reasons to see The Sleeping Beauty

David McAllister's The Sleeping Beauty is a perfect combination of thrilling dance and mesmerising music, with lashings of fairy dust and a candy-bright design. Why try to resist?

That Design

The award-winning Gabriela Tylesova (Love Never Dies, Ladies in Black) excelled herself in The Sleeping Beauty. Inspired by the Baroque era and rich with gold, glitter and ornamentation, her sets and costumes make a luscious setting for the pageantry and magic of the ballet.

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Artists of The Australian Ballet. Photo Daniel Boud.

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Artists of The Australian Ballet. Photo Kate Longley.

The Rose Adage

It's the centrepiece of The Sleeping Beauty, and one of the great moments of ballet: a blindingly difficult sequence of balances and promenades that tests the ballerina's nerve and equilibrium to its utmost. In McAllister's Beauty, Aurora's dance with her four suitors is exquisitely framed by girlfriends in rose-themed tutus and courtiers with rose garlands.

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Lana Jones and Artists of The Australian Ballet. Photo Kate Longley.

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Amber Scott and Andrew Wright. Photo Kate Longley.

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Sophie Morgan and Artists of The Australian Ballet. Photo Kate Longley.

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Fish Dives

The Grand Pas de deux with which Aurora and her Prince seal their wedding is a stately affair, reflecting their new dignity as heirs apparent to the throne. That's not to say it doesn't have some spectacular dancing, with repeated pirouettes, deep backbends and a series of three fish dives - a thrilling move in which the Prince supports Aurora seemingly in thin air, her nose inches from the floor.

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The Bluebird Pas de Deux

Is there a more charming pas de deux in all of ballet than the Bluebird pas de deux? Fluttering, leaping improbably high into the air, the Bluebird woos his Princess Florine, who echoes his movements just as her theme on the flute echoes his on the clarinet. It's an enchanting moment that forms one of the high points of the costume ball held to celebrate the royal wedding.

The Fairies

With their vivid colours, delicate wings and airy skirts, Aurora’s fairy godmothers flutter through The Sleeping Beauty like a delightful pack of hummingbirds. Each has their own historically based motifs, and each dances a charming variation. Of course, let’s not forget Carabosse – because that’s how trouble starts.

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Ako Kondo. Photo Kate Longley.

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Jill Ogai. Photo Lynette Wills.

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Ingrid Gow. Photo Lynette Wills.